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[158] was equally asserted, and the monopoly of a rival
Chap. IV.} 1621.
corporation successfully opposed.

Lord Bacon, who, at the time of Newport's first voyage with emigrants for Virginia, classed the enterprise with the romance of ‘Amadis de Gaul,’ caught a glimpse of the future; and now he said of the plantation of Virginia: ‘Certainly it is with the kingdoms of earth as it is in the kingdom of heaven, sometimes a grain of mustard seed proves a great tree. Who can tell?’

The company had silently approved the colonial assembly which had been convened by Sir George Yeardley; on the twenty-fourth of July, 1621, a memorable ordinance established for the colony a written constitution. The prescribed form of government was analagous to the English constitution, and was, with some modifications, the model of the systems which were afterwards introduced into the various royal provinces. Its purpose was declared to be ‘the greatest comfort and benefit to the people, and the prevention of injustice, grievances, and oppression.’ Its terms are few and simple: a governor, to be appointed by the company; a permanent council, likewise to be appointed by the company; a general assembly, to be convened yearly, and to consist of the members of the council, and of two burgesses to be chosen from each of the several plantations by the respective inhabitants. The assembly might exercise full legislative authority, a negative voice being reserved to the governor; but no law or ordinance would be valid, unless ratified by the company in England. It was further agreed, that, after the government of the colony shall have once been framed, no orders of the court in London shall bind

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